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Cardiff 2-1 Watford

Ross McCormack celebrates his last-gasp winner
McCormack's last-gasp winner sent the Ninian Park crowd into raptures

A controversial penalty from Ross McCormack in the third minute of injury time fired promotion-chasing Cardiff to fifth in the Championship table.

Watford went ahead with Tommy Smith's penalty after Stephen McPhail ended Jobi McAnuff's superb run with a trip.

Jay Bothroyd soon levelled, blasting a great left-footed shot through the defence after Chris Burke's build-up.

Cardiff pressure told when Ross Jenkins handled on the line to keep out Roger Johnson's header from a late corner.

The Hornets protested the decision and claimed that the ball had come off Jenkins' chest.

But the cool McCormack stepped forward and made no mistake from the spot, netting his 18th goal of the season.

The match was the first of four successive home fixtures for the Bluebirds, who have games in hand on the league leaders.

Cardiff have won eight of their last nine matches at Ninian Park, gaining a draw in the other.

Cardiff manager Dave Jones:
"It was another late goal for us but it evens itself out over the season.

"They kept breaking out after our set plays to cause us problems but we stuck to our principles and had our reward.

"We kept plugging away and we have players here who can change games and now it is all about results rather than performances.

"Watford played well but our central defenders were magnificent.

"The referee made the right decisions for both penalties and I'm only glad that ours proved to be the winner."

Watford manager Brendan Rodgers:
"I think it was a harsh result, particularly losing in such fashion.

"The linesman said it wasn't a penalty which is why my players asked the referee to consult him. Ross Jenkins claims he never handled the ball.

"The performance level was very good, we have been excellent over the last couple of months but now we have to move on.

"To get so close yet lose was very disappointing as we still need points for safety but I will focus on the positives as you would have thought it was two top-six sides playing out there."

Cardiff: Stuart Taylor, McNaughton, Gyepes, Roger Johnson, Capaldi, Parry (Whittingham 46), McPhail, Ledley, Burke (Chopra 74), Bothroyd, McCormack.
Subs Not Used: Rae, Eddie Johnson, Kennedy.

Booked: McNaughton, McCormack.

Goals: Bothroyd 14, McCormack 90 pen.

Watford: Loach, Doyley, DeMerit, Mike Williamson, Mariappa, Cork, Cowie, McAnuff, Jenkins, Smith, Priskin.
Subs Not Used: Lee, Hoyte, Lee Williamson, Hoskins, Cauna.

Booked: Cork, Mariappa, McAnuff, DeMerit.

Goals: Smith 10 pen.

Att: 17,899

Ref: Andy Hall (W Midlands).

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